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The 1973–74 NHL season was the 57th season of the National Hockey League. The Philadelphia Flyers won the Stanley Cup championship, the team's first. The team was the first of the post-1967 teams to win the Cup.

1973–74 NHL season
League National Hockey League
Sport Ice hockey
Duration October 10, 1973 – May 19, 1974
Number of games 78
Number of teams 16
Top draft pick Denis Potvin
Picked by New York Islanders
Regular season
Season champions Boston Bruins
Season MVP Phil Esposito (Bruins)
Top scorer Phil Esposito (Bruins)
Playoffs MVP Bernie Parent (Flyers)
Stanley Cup
Champions Philadelphia Flyers
  Runners-up Boston Bruins
NHL seasons


League businessEdit

With owner Charles O. Finley unable to find a buyer, the league took over operation of the troubled California Golden Seals in February 1974.

Regular seasonEdit

The Philadelphia Flyers, who developed the nickname "Broad Street Bullies" because of their physical style of play, dethroned the Chicago Black Hawks as the West Division champions behind the dominant play of Bobby Clarke and Bernie Parent.

In the East Division, the Boston Bruins regained the top spot in the East and the league, behind an ongoing offensive juggernaut that saw Bruins' players finish 1–2–3–4 in NHL scoring (Phil Esposito, Bobby Orr, Ken Hodge and Wayne Cashman) for the second and most recent time in league history.

Final standingsEdit

East Division[1]
1 Boston Bruins 78 52 17 9 349 221 +128 113
2 Montreal Canadiens 78 45 24 9 293 240 +53 99
3 New York Rangers 78 40 24 14 300 251 +49 94
4 Toronto Maple Leafs 78 35 27 16 274 230 +44 86
5 Buffalo Sabres 78 32 34 12 242 250 −8 76
6 Detroit Red Wings 78 29 39 10 255 319 −64 68
7 Vancouver Canucks 78 24 43 11 224 296 −72 59
8 New York Islanders 78 19 41 18 182 247 −65 56
West Division[2]
1 Philadelphia Flyers 78 50 16 12 273 164 +109 112
2 Chicago Black Hawks 78 41 14 23 272 164 +108 105
3 Los Angeles Kings 78 33 33 12 233 231 +2 78
4 Atlanta Flames 78 30 34 14 214 238 −24 74
5 Pittsburgh Penguins 78 28 41 9 242 273 −31 65
6 St. Louis Blues 78 26 40 12 206 248 −42 64
7 Minnesota North Stars 78 23 38 17 235 275 −40 63
8 California Golden Seals 78 13 55 10 195 342 −147 36


The playoffs began on April 9 with the first round, which was played between divisional opponents. The top teams all won their first rounds, with one mild upset, as the third-place New York Rangers defeated the second-place Montreal Canadiens, marking the third straight year that they had defeated the defending Stanley Cup champions in the first round. In the second round, the teams played an inter-divisional round to determine the finalists. The Eastern champion Boston Bruins took on the Western's second-place Chicago Black Hawks, while the Western champion Philadelphia Flyers took on the New York Rangers. Boston won its series in six games to take one Finals spot, while Philadelphia won its series against the New York Rangers in seven games to make the team's first Finals appearance. With Philadelphia defeating the NY Rangers in the semi-finals, this marked the first time a post 1967 NHL expansion team had ever won a playoff series against an Original 6 opponent. In the Final, the Flyers won the series in six games against the Bruins to win not only the franchise's first championship but also to become the first post 1967 NHL expansion team and thus the first non 'Original 6' NHL team to win the Stanley Cup since the Montreal Maroons in 1935.[3]

Playoff bracketEdit

Quarter-finals Semi-finals Stanley Cup Final
E1 Boston Bruins 4
E4 Toronto Maple Leafs 0
E1 Boston Bruins 4
W2 Chicago Black Hawks 2
W2 Chicago Black Hawks 4
W3 Los Angeles Kings 1
E1 Boston Bruins 2
W1 Philadelphia Flyers 4
W1 Philadelphia Flyers 4
W4 Atlanta Flames 0
W1 Philadelphia Flyers 4
E3 New York Rangers 3
E2 Montreal Canadiens 2
E3 New York Rangers 4


(E1) Boston Bruins vs. (E4) Toronto Maple LeafsEdit

The Boston Bruins finished first in the league with 113 points. The Toronto Maple Leafs finished fourth in the East Division with 86 points. This was the thirteenth playoff series between these two teams with Toronto winning eight of the previous twelve series. Their most recent meeting came in the 1972 quarterfinals which Boston won in five games. Boston won four of the six games in this year's regular season series.

Boston won series 4–0

(E2) Montreal Canadiens vs. (E3) New York RangersEdit

The Montreal Canadiens finished second in the East Division with 99 points. The New York Rangers finished third with 94 points. This was the eleventh playoff series between these two teams with the teams splitting the ten previous series. Their most recent meeting came in the 1972 quarterfinals which New York won in 6 games. Montreal won four of the six games in this year's regular season series.

New York won series 4–2

(W1) Philadelphia Flyers vs. (W4) Atlanta FlamesEdit

The Philadelphia Flyers finished first in the West Division with 112 points. The Atlanta Flames finished fourth with 74 points. This was the Atlanta Flames' first playoff series. In this year's regular season series, there were two ties and the teams split the remaining four games.

Philadelphia won series 4–0

(W2) Chicago Black Hawks vs. (W3) Los Angeles KingsEdit

The Chicago Black Hawks finished second in the West Division with 105 points. The Los Angeles Kings finished third in the West Division with 78 points. This was the first playoff meeting between these two teams. In this year's regular season series, there were three wins for Chicago, one win for Los Angeles and two ties.

Chicago won series 4–1


(E1) Boston Bruins vs. (W2) Chicago Black HawksEdit

This was the fourth playoff series between these two teams with Boston winning all three previous series. Their most recent series came in the 1970 East Division finals which Boston won in 4 games. In this year's five-game regular season series, there were two wins for Chicago and three ties.

Boston won series 4–2

(W1) Philadelphia Flyers vs. (E3) New York RangersEdit

This was the first playoff meeting between these two teams. In this year's regular season series, there were two wins for New York, one win for Philadelphia and two ties.

Philadelphia won series 4–3


The Boston Bruins' most recent Stanley Cup Finals appearance came in 1972 where they beat the New York Rangers in 6 games. This was the first Stanley Cup Finals for the Philadelphia Flyers in their seventh season. This was the first playoff meeting between these two teams. In this year's regular season series, there were three wins for Philadelphia, one win for Boston and one tie.

Philadelphia Flyers became the first non-Original Six team to win the Cup since expansion in 1967.

Philadelphia won series 4–2


A new award, the Jack Adams for the best coach, was introduced for this season. The first winner was Fred Shero of the Philadelphia Flyers.

1974 NHL awards
Prince of Wales Trophy:
(East Division champion)
Boston Bruins
Clarence S. Campbell Bowl:
(West Division champion)
Philadelphia Flyers
Art Ross Trophy:
(Top scorer, regular season)
Phil Esposito, Boston Bruins
Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy:
(Perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication)
Henri Richard, Montreal Canadiens
Calder Memorial Trophy:
(Top first-year player)
Denis Potvin, New York Islanders
Conn Smythe Trophy:
(Most valuable player, playoffs)
Bernie Parent, Philadelphia Flyers
Hart Memorial Trophy:
(Most valuable player, regular season)
Phil Esposito, Boston Bruins
Jack Adams Award:
(Best coach)
Fred Shero, Philadelphia Flyers
James Norris Memorial Trophy:
(Best defenceman)
Bobby Orr, Boston Bruins
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy:
(Excellence and sportsmanship)
Johnny Bucyk, Boston Bruins
Lester B. Pearson Award:
(Outstanding player, regular season)
Bobby Clarke, Philadelphia Flyers
Vezina Trophy:
(Goaltender(s) of team(s) with best goaltending record)
Tony Esposito, Chicago Black Hawks tied Bernie Parent, Philadelphia Flyers
Lester Patrick Trophy:
(Service to hockey in the U.S.)
Alex Delvecchio, Murray Murdoch, Weston W. Adams, Sr., Charles L. Crovat

All-Star teamsEdit

First team   Position   Second team
Bernie Parent, Philadelphia Flyers G Tony Esposito, Chicago Black Hawks
Bobby Orr, Boston Bruins D Bill White, Chicago Black Hawks
Brad Park, New York Rangers D Barry Ashbee, Philadelphia Flyers
Phil Esposito, Boston Bruins C Bobby Clarke, Philadelphia Flyers
Ken Hodge, Boston Bruins RW Mickey Redmond, Detroit Red Wings
Rick Martin, Buffalo Sabres LW Wayne Cashman, Boston Bruins

Player statisticsEdit

Scoring leadersEdit

Note: GP = Games played, G = Goals, A = Assists, Pts = Points, PIM = Penalties in minutes

Player Team GP G A Pts PIM
Phil Esposito Boston Bruins 78 68 77 145 58
Bobby Orr Boston Bruins 74 32 90 122 82
Ken Hodge Boston Bruins 76 50 55 105 43
Wayne Cashman Boston Bruins 78 30 59 89 111
Bobby Clarke Philadelphia Flyers 77 35 52 87 113
Rick Martin Buffalo Sabres 78 52 34 86 38
Syl Apps, Jr Pittsburgh Penguins 75 24 61 85 37
Darryl Sittler Toronto Maple Leafs 78 38 46 84 55
Lowell MacDonald Pittsburgh Penguins 78 43 39 82 14
Brad Park New York Rangers 78 25 57 82 148
Dennis Hextall Minnesota North Stars 78 20 62 82 138

Source: NHL.[4]

Leading goaltendersEdit

Note: GP = Games played; Min – Minutes Played; GA = Goals Against; GAA = Goals Against Average; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; SO = Shutouts

Player Team GP MIN GA GAA W L T SO
Bernie Parent Philadelphia Flyers 73 4314 136 1.89 47 13 12 12
Tony Esposito Chicago Black Hawks 70 4143 141 2.04 34 14 21 10
Ross Brooks Boston Bruins 21 1170 46 2.36 16 3 0 3
Doug Favell Toronto Maple Leafs 32 1752 79 2.71 14 7 9 0
Wayne Thomas Montreal Canadiens 42 2410 111 2.76 23 12 5 1
Dan Bouchard Atlanta Flames 46 2660 123 2.77 19 18 8 5
Rogie Vachon L.A. Kings 65 3751 175 2.80 28 26 10 5
Michel Larocque Montreal Canadiens 27 1431 69 2.89 15 8 2 0
Dunc Wilson Toronto Maple Leafs 24 1412 68 2.89 9 11 3 1
Gilles Gilbert Boston Bruins 54 3210 158 2.95 34 12 8 6

Other statisticsEdit





The following is a list of players of note who played their first NHL game in 1973–74 (listed with their first team, asterisk(*) marks debut in playoffs):

Last gamesEdit

The following is a list of players of note that played their last game in the NHL in 1973–74 (listed with their last team):

NOTE: Prentice and Mahovlich would finish their major professional careers in the World Hockey Association.

See alsoEdit


  • Diamond, Dan, ed. (2000). Total Hockey. Kingston, NY: Total Sports. ISBN 1-892129-85-X. 
  • Dinger, Ralph, ed. (2011). The National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book 2012. Toronto, ON: Dan Diamond & Associates. ISBN 978-1-894801-22-5. 
  • Dryden, Steve, ed. (2000). Century of hockey. Toronto, ON: McClelland & Stewart Ltd. ISBN 0-7710-4179-9. 
  • Fischler, Stan; Fischler, Shirley; Hughes, Morgan; Romain, Joseph; Duplacey, James (2003). The Hockey Chronicle: Year-by-Year History of the National Hockey League. Lincolnwood, IL: Publications International Inc. ISBN 0-7853-9624-1. 

External linksEdit